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Natural Foods Merchandiser

In the mood: Foods and beverages to help us feel better

As more functional ingredients move into the food and beverage spheres, the lines between foods, beverages and supplements have been blurred, if not nearly erased.

While it might be too soon to predict the long-term effects of the past couple of years on our psyche, our bodies and how we approach our overall wellness, it seems a safe bet that consumers will continue to look for ways to get more benefits out of the foods and beverages they consume. Where supplements may have once been the go-to for mind-body support, natural food brands have moved squarely into the #swellness space with assurances that we can be better—with the help of better sleep, better energy, focus, relaxation and more—thanks to what we eat.

As more functional ingredients move into the food and beverage spheres, the line between these and supplements has blurred. The appearance of a Nutrition or Supplement Facts panel increasingly doesn’t matter, and some types of products (we mean you, powders!) straddle the line so adroitly between food, beverage and supplement that their definition (and perhaps where to merchandise them) might fluctuate depending on how individuals opt to consume them: added to water, blended in a smoothie, sprinkled over cereal or included in baked goods.

What’s important, however, is what these products increasingly have in common: ingredients that offer relief for what ails us (stress) and what eludes us (sleep, relaxation, concentration, memory, even bliss…); that bridge the gap between body and mood; and that, thankfully, are being added mindfully and in more transparent and efficacious doses.

Functional mushrooms and adaptogenic botanicals such as ashwagandha, tulsi, maca, rhodiola, kava kava, CBD and others are joined by mood-boosting vitamins and minerals in functional fare that can include anything from coffee and tea to RTD beverages, snacks, bars, sweets, and more.

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